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Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship

U.S. Fulbright

Cancer: A Growing Public Health Problem in Haiti

February 4, 2016
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Martine Prompt, 2015-2016, Fulbright-Clinton Fellow to Haiti (center), discusses the socioeconomic impact of cancer with patients Madame Louis (left) and Melissa (right)

In honor of World Cancer Day, 2015 J. William Fulbright–Hillary Rodham Clinton Public Policy Fellow to Haiti Martine Prompt shares her cancer awareness work with Project Medishare as part of her overall grant objective to improve the health literacy skills of vulnerable populations as a means towards improving their overall health, and promote health equity.

“Mwen pè maladi sa, mwen pè mouri pou pitit mwen yo, men mwen gen espwa poum geri paske mwen gen konfyans nan Letènèl, sa banm plis espwa.”

“I am afraid of this disease. I fear death because of my children, but I have hoped that I’ll heal because I have faith in the Lord – that gives me more hope.”

Madame Louis and four other women sat on the chemo chair in the cancer center at Bernard Mevs Hospital as their nurse prepares them to receive their infusion. Madame Louis is a middle aged woman with a malignant tumor that was undiagnosed and untreated for a long time. In the place where her right breast should be, there is a cauliflower-shaped tumor growing through her skin. She pointed at it for me to look but she looked away, sad, angry, and shamefaced. Such enormous tumors are rare in developed countries, yet typical in Haiti. The women at the cancer center are trapped by poverty, misinformation, and stigma, which often lead to them not seeking help for breast cancer. Many are diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer when the prognosis for survival is poor. Madame Louis confirms, she has never performed a self-breast exam, nor had a mammogram. She was diagnosed, when she showed a doctor that she had blood coming out of her nipples. “Yo dim se cancer ke mwen genyen, kounye a map tann gerizon. Yo dim map geri.” (They told me I have cancer, now I’m waiting for a cure because they told me I will be cured.)

Studies confirm that breast cancer is a leading cause of death and disability among women, especially young women in low-and middle-income countries. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (WHO), low-and middle-income countries like Haiti, accounted for 57% of the 14 million people diagnosed with cancer worldwide in 2012—but 65% of the deaths. Today, cancer kills more people in poor countries than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. The high fatality rates are likely due to a lack of awareness of the benefits of early detection and treatment and a scarcity of adequate facilities for detection, diagnosis, as well as treatment.

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U.S. Fulbright

About to Submit a Fulbright-Clinton Application? Join Today’s Webinar on Polishing Your Application.

October 2, 2015

Johanna Gusman, 2014-2015, Fulbright-Clinton Fellow to Samoa

Join U.S. Department of State and Fulbright U.S. Student Program staff at 12:00 p.m. ET today for a webinar offering tips and advice on finalizing your Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship application.

This will be the final Q&A webinar for all Fulbright-Clinton applicants before the national deadline of October 13. To register, click here:

Want to hear previous Fulbright-Clinton webinars or listen to the recorded version of today’s webinar later on? Click here.

Good luck!


U.S. Fulbright

Nepal: Strength Through Community

May 18, 2015
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Daniel Trusilo, 2013-2014, J. William Fulbright – Hillary Rodham Clinton Fellow to Nepal (and West Point alumnus), giving a talk on disaster preparedness at the Rotary Club of Kantipur

Kyanjin Gompa is a small, remote village North of Kathmandu at the far end of Langtang Valley. Only now, weeks after the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25th has the level of destruction in Langtang become known. I spent several weeks of October last year in Langtang, staying with a Nepali family of five. Every morning Gyalbu, the father, would put a chair in the sun for me to sit on while I scribbled notes in a journal. Gyalbu’s wife, who I called DiDi, meaning older sister, would make delicious yak cheese and vegetable omelets for breakfast while their two daughters would sit on a bench playing with their Barbie dolls and their son would help with chores. Gyalbu and his wife were always generous with their smiles as the sun melted away the mountain chill and their children played happily in puffy down jackets.

I was repeatedly moved by the kindness of Gyalbu’s family who faced adversity without complaint. The remarkable thing is that the generosity and sense of community that I felt with this family was not an isolated event. Having spent the last year in Nepal as a J. William Fulbright – Hillary Rodham Clinton Public Policy Fellow, I witnessed the strong sense of community and boundless generosity of the Nepali people over and over again. When I was not working in an official capacity, I used the time to meet with community leaders via the extensive Rotary Club network across Kathmandu Valley. Discussions on disaster preparedness were an opportunity to meet leaders outside of work and advance disaster mitigation efforts. Community members from the Rotary network were always enthusiastic about improving Nepal in any small way that they could.

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U.S. Fulbright

The Ballad of Fulbright Dave and the Sympathy Chicken

November 6, 2014
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David Kienzler, 2013-2014, Fulright-Clinton Fellow to Malawi, with noted Chelsea FC fan Levison Munthali and Lil’ Alan Shearer the Newcastle Sympathy Chicken

Despite being American, I have been a big fan of the English football team Newcastle United since I was in high school. They are terrible, but teenagers often make poor life decisions and my misguided loyalty wasn’t a big deal until I came to Malawi. Malawi likes winners and my allegiance to a lousy team was a continual source of pity around my office. Things came to a head in April during a six-game losing streak. After the first few losses, a colleague started giving me kwacha (the local currency) because as he put it, “in Malawi you express your condolences with gifts.” Eventually, after yet another loss I walked into my office on Monday morning to discover a live rooster on my desk. It was Lil’ Alan Shearer the Newcastle Sympathy Chicken. My coworkers loved this and spent all day coming by to see it and tell me to come over to a winning club. You have no idea how hard it is to get work done with a rooster running around your office.

And there was so much work to be done. My Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship placed me in Malawi’s Ministry of Mines. Malawi, one of the world’s least developed countries, has historically been economically dependent on agriculture, but in the last few years there has been an emphasis on mining as an avenue for economic growth and development. This has only increased with the recent discovery of the possibility of oil under Lake Malawi. But while there is great potential, there are serious obstacles. The lake is a UNESCO World Heritage site that has to be protected. Malawi’s oil and mining legislation is old and outdated. Last year a massive corruption scandal rocked the government. If not developed properly, mining in Malawi could cause more problems than it solves.

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U.S. Fulbright

Miss the Last Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship Webinar? We’ve Got the Recorded Version Right Here.

September 15, 2014

Working on a Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship application and missed the last webinar? No worries. Check out the recorded version right here:

Fulbright-Clinton Meet a Fellow Webinar from Fulbright Program on Vimeo.

Also, be sure to tune in and attend the next Fulbright-Clinton webinar on finalizing your application this Thursday, September 18 at 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST. For more information and to learn how to sign up, click here.